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In Afghan Prisons, Women And Young Children Serve Hard Time
The Ferghana Valley in Central Asia has for years been a hotbed for drugs, smuggling, and Islamic extremism. One of the most densely populated areas of the region, it has now become fertile ground for Islamic State militants.
Russia has repeatedly denied Western accusations its troops are in Ukraine, but it has admitted the presence of volunteers fighting on the side of separatists there. RFE/RL Current Time program gained rare access to two nationalist organizations in St Petersburg which have sent men to fight.
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that will appear Monday through Friday. Viewers can submit suggested topics to address on Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.
The killing of Boris Nemtsov has sparked sadness and anger. But many fear that -- as in other high-profile cases -- the people behind his murder will never be charged.
In the wake of the Taliban massacre at a school in Peshawar, authorities in northwest Pakistan have given teachers permission to carry guns to school. Some teachers have balked at the new policy, warning that weapons in the classroom could have a negative psychological impact on their students.
The village of Perelogi, north of Moscow, was on the verge of dying out -- until Tajik families, fleeing civil war at home, started arriving in the 1990s.
The 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi cost tens of billions of dollars. But for those who live and work in the Black Sea resort, there are other, hidden costs. One year after the Games, migrant laborers are still fighting for the back wages, as residents take stock of the damage.
Ukrainian military forces have retreated from the town of Debaltseve, which has been under siege by pro-Russian separatists. Correspondent Levko Stek of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service spoke to the soldiers outside Debaltseve after they left the town in the control of rebel fighters.
A look at the events of February 18-21, 2014, when antigovernment protests in central Kyiv descended into deadly violence.
Fawad Mohammadi has had an incredible life: plucked from the obscurity of selling maps on the streets of Kabul to star in an Oscar-nominated movie, his life also inspired a British novelist. He is now studying at one of Kabul's top schools -- his days as a street child long behind him.
To supplement his wages, Kyrgyz teacher Murat Duisheev braves sub-zero temperatures in his spare time to pan for gold in a nearby river.
At Tajik universities, Chinese courses are filled to the limit with students eager to learn the language of their powerful neighbor. Many are hoping that growing Chinese investment in Tajikistan will mean new job opportunities in a struggling economy. (Barotali Nazarov, RFE/RL's Tajik Service)
Border towns in southern Hungary have seen a dramatic rise in the number of migrants illegally crossing into the EU state from neighboring Serbia, which recently eased its travel restrictions. The majority of the migrants are Kosovars, who are escaping from poverty and mass unemployment back home.
People fleeing the fighting in eastern Ukraine recalled what they had gone through, after arriving at government-controlled Slovyansk railway station. In interviews filmed on the station platform on February 2, IDPs spoke of fear, lack of sleep, and constant firing. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Officials in northwest Pakistan have revised school textbooks to make them more Islamic -- no unveiled women, references to world historical figures replaced with prominent Muslims, and Koranic verses about jihad.
The majority of injured separatist fighters from eastern Ukraine are treated in Russia. But their treatment is not always organized officially. In the border regions of Russia, there are informal clinics and rehabilitation centers organized by the separatists.
Ukrainian forces are helping civilians flee the town of Debaltseve, which has been hit by heavy shelling amid ongoing clashes. Servicemen also brought in bread supplies for residents who are unable or unwilling to leave.
The town of Debaltseve has been caught in the crossfire between Ukrainian military forces and separatist fighters for more than two weeks. Many residents have fled, and those who remain are struggling to survive as food supplies dwindle and the fighting draws closer.
Avdiyivka, just north of Donetsk, has been shelled by both sides of the conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists. There are no soldiers in the town, and many inhabitants have also left.
In recent days, Russian-backed separatists have been advancing in eastern Ukraine. As fighting with Ukrainian forces intensifies, indiscriminate shelling has caused dozens of civilian casualties, as well as damaging homes and other property.
Mykola Karpenko was just 17 when he was drafted into the Soviet Army from his village in Ukraine. His unit was among those that freed the prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland on January 27, 1945. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life.
Afghan authorities have recently captured a number of young men who were apparently planning to carry out suicide bombings. The National Directorate of Security (NDS), the country's spy agency, presented several thwarted bombers to the media in Kabul.
Winter in Kazakhstan can be harsh – especially without heating. Sholpan Saymova’s family home was declared to be in an "emergency condition” in 2010 – but the repairs led to a nightmare that left them at turns freezing cold, hospitalized, and battling local bureaucracy.
Twelve children in the western Kazakh village of Berezovka suddenly collapsed or fell ill on January 21. They are only the latest of some 100 cases of the mysterious illness in recent months.
With the end of NATO's combat mission in Afghanistan, Iran has been tightening its grip on the western part of the country. Nowhere is the Islamic republic’s influence more visible than in the city of Herat, which has deep historical ties to Iran.
Some 25,000 people marched in Dresden on January 12 to protest against what they called the “Islamization” of Germany. Now a weekly event, the protest gained additional participants in the wake of last week's terror attacks in Paris.
Bitter divisions are deepening in the German city of Dresden following another night of mass demonstrations. German police say 25,000 people took to the streets to protest against what they call the “Islamization” of Germany – the highest number yet.
In the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, the international airport is on the front lines of the separatist conflict. Government troops and pro-Russian separatists have each taken up positions in the destroyed airport buildings and are fighting for control of the strategic site.
In December, a family in eastern Ukraine was torn apart by conflict. Baby Nika and her brother Vitya lost their mother and their home in a shell attack. The children's aunt is now taking care of them and her own young children as they struggle to put their lives back together.
For months, the airport in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, has been the scene of heavy fighting between Ukrainian troops and separatist rebels. RFE/RL Ukrainian Service correspondents joined a late-night supply run bringing gasoline and other essentials to the fighters at the airport.
The cautionary tale of one young ethnic Uzbek migrant worker from Kyrgyzstan.
Ivan, a novice monk, was inspired by the experiences of wounded fighters to leave the safety of his monastery and join a volunteer paramilitary battalion in Ukraine's Donetsk region. Now training with his unit for potential combat, Ivan believes the church stands behind his decision.
It was the most tumultuous year in Ukraine's history since World War II, and Levko Stek of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service followed it with his camera every step of the way. From the squares of Kyiv, to the seizing of Crimea, and the war that followed in Donbas, Stek was everywhere.
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